In grade seven, I started wearing glasses. I’d mentioned to my mother that I was having trouble seeing numbers on the chalkboard, and my eyes hurt after math class. We went to the optometrist, who told me I had astigmatism, which is an irregular curvature of the cornea, in my left eye.
It was bad—so bad that the optometrist said I was “legally blind” in that eye. For improved vision, I had to wear glasses. I did so for the next 17 years; they seemed to become a part of who I was. I never thought I’d be without them.
By my late 20s, I was tired of the office job I’d landed and wanted something more exciting. I had a few friends “on the force” with the local police service, and I made some enquires. Turns out, I had all the necessary qualifications except one: I needed improved vision. Although there were officers who had less than 20/20 sight, they met a minimum vision standard designed to make sure officers were still effective if they lost or damaged their glasses. In my right eye, I was good enough; in my left, not a chance.
I’d heard about laser vision correction and LASIK MD, and I realized it might be my only chance to get onto the force. I made an appointment for a free consultation at LASIK MD, asking the hard questions about exactly what the procedure looked like, how long it took, and how the corneal flap was created. Excited by the possibilities, I booked a date for the astigmatism correction procedure.
Seeing is Believing
The morning arrived. My wife came with me to be my ride home after the LASIK procedure was done. When my turn came, I had a quick chat with the surgeon, then was prepped for the procedure. In less than 10 minutes, I was back in the waiting room. And I could see. The letters in the drug store sign across the street were suddenly sharp and clear, and the “fuzz” I’d always associated with having my glasses off was gone. I had my eyes tested again at the end of the month, and both were seeing 20/20. By summer, my improved vision meant I was training with the police service.
That was five years ago. My vision is still as clear as ever. Every once in a while, I take out my old glasses, put them on, and marvel at how strange they feel. Ten minutes didn’t just change my career, it changed my life.